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Academic Catalog 2017-2018

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Sociology and Education

Department of - Education Policy & Social Analysis

Contact Information

(212) 678-3677
(212) 678-3589
Prof. Carolyn Riehl

Program Description

Teachers College was founded in 1887 and chartered two years later under the principle of joining the systematic study of education with the practical arts of pedagogy. In the College’s initial years, through its faculty appointments, departmental structure, and curriculum, it introduced sociology as a partner to the disciplines of history, philosophy, and psychology in providing foundational perspectives for understanding education as a profession and social enterprise.

The Sociology and Education Program continues this tradition with its emphasis on developing theoretical and empirical knowledge about education using a sociological lens and linking that knowledge to improving the lives of students and educators and advancing the practices of policymaking, teaching, leading, and learning. Primary attention is given to public elementary and secondary education and higher education in the United States, but the sociological focus extends also to early childhood, education in settings other than schools, education in other countries, and to the organizational contexts of school districts, charter management organizations, and state and national departments of education.

Located in New York City and amidst the country’s largest and most vibrant, diverse, complex, and often unequal metropolitan area, Teachers College honors its long-standing commitment to furthering education that confronts inequality head on and offers high-quality opportunities across social boundaries. The curriculum of the Sociology and Education program reflects these values and emphasizes topics in social inequality, social change, the organization of schooling and education within different institutional forms and contexts, the effects of education on individuals and populations, and alternative models of effective and equitable education. Currently, students can study issues such as gentrification and the landscape of urban and suburban schooling; educational opportunities for students of color living in high-poverty areas; accountability-based control of teaching as a profession and its effects on students and teachers; schools and school districts as effective and equitable learning organizations; and the role of education in the life course of individuals.

The program prepares students to become thoughtful analysts of education who can perceive and interpret the actions of individuals and systems, who understand these systems within broader social contexts, and who can propose and implement more effective and equitable approaches to education. The master’s and doctoral Sociology and Education programs provide training and hands-on experience in the conceptual foundations of research; research design; qualitative data collection and analysis strategies; basic and advanced statistical analysis methods; program evaluation; and policy analysis. Program graduates apply these skills and knowledge in various professional settings, ranging from classrooms in schools and colleges, to research and evaluation offices in government, foundations, and academia, and to governmental policy offices, school district and charter school organizations, non-profit agencies, and student-serving organizations.

Faculty are actively engaged in research on issues related to the program’s core themes, using critical race theory, organization theory, school effects theory, and others to generate scholarship that is conceptually rich and relevant to policy and practice. Students also have access to faculty in other programs at the College who employ a sociological perspective in their work and to faculty in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University.

As one of four programs in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis, the Sociology and Education Program has close ties to faculty and students who study education with a focus on political science, economics, law, and policy. This provides students the opportunity to develop their sociological viewpoint along with other important perspectives on the challenges facing education.

 

Degree Programs

The graduate program in Sociology and Education offers four degree programs: the M.A., the Ed.M., the Ed.D., and the Ph.D. Each program is designed to meet the needs of students with a particular combination of prior experience and career objectives. The M.A., Ed.M., and Ed.D. programs may be completed on a part-time basis with classes offered in the evening hours. The Ph.D. program requires full-time study. Although students from all of the degree programs in sociology and education are prepared to assume positions in educational institutions, the program does not offer professional certification for teaching or school/district leadership. Certification programs are available in other departments at Teachers College.

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts program in sociology and education provides an introduction to the application of sociological perspectives to contemporary education issues. The program provides coverage of the core principles and methods of sociology as they are applied to research and analysis. An optional policy concentration enables students to focus more closely on the design and effects of education policies. Students completing this program are prepared to assume positions as general analysts in a variety of organizations devoted to applied educational research, policy making, advocacy, consulting, and direct educational service.

Master of Education

The Master of Education in sociology and education is an advanced master’s degree typically pursued by students who already possess a master’s degree in a substantive area of education or by students without a prior master’s degree who want an opportunity to combine study in sociology and education with another area in education. The program involves study of sociological perspectives and methods in the context of contemporary education issues. Through an optional policy concentration, students can examine a variety of education policy questions in more depth. Current substantive areas that can be combined with study in sociology and policy include evaluation and institutional analysis, human development, technology, curriculum, administration, and foundations. Students completing this program are prepared to assume positions as specialists in a variety of organizations devoted to applied educational research, policy making, advocacy, consulting, and management of educational activities.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) program is designed for students with substantial background and interest in the discipline of sociology and its application to education. The Ph.D. is a highly specialized degree that requires substantial coursework to be done in daytime classes at Teachers College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. This program, therefore, requires full-time study. Students completing this program are prepared to assume positions in college and university programs focused on sociological research in the field of education.

Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is designed to provide broad training in the social sciences, education, and education policy. The program prepares students for positions in teaching, research, and policy through interdisciplinary study grounded in the sociological perspective. All coursework is available at Teachers College, and both part-time and full-time study is possible. Students completing this program are prepared to assume positions in college and university programs in education as well as leadership positions in a variety of organizations devoted to applied education research, policy making, advocacy, consulting, and management of educational activities. 

Degree Summary

Sociology and Education (SOCL)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)*
  • Master of Education (Ed.M.)*
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

*Policy Studies in Sociology concentration available

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please click the "Degrees" tab above

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please continue on to this program's "Degrees" section in this document

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

Program Requirements

Master of Arts Degree in the Program in Sociology and Education – minimum of 33 points

Requirements for the M.A. program without the education policy option: 

I.  Core Courses (minimum 14 points) 

A. Foundational Coursework in Social Analysis of Education (6 points)

EDPS 4021 Sociology of Education (3) (Required)

EDPS 4620 Introductory Colloquium in Sociology and Education (3) (Required)

B. Education and Social Inequality (minimum 3 points)

EDPS 4022 Sociology of Urban Education (3)

EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy (3)

EDPS 4024 Social Stratification and Education (3)

EDPS 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)

C&T 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)

C. Education and Social Organization (minimum 3 points)

EDPS 4029 Sociology of Schools (3)

EDPS 4030 Sociology of Organizations (3)

EDPS 5022 Sociology of Education Systems (3)

EDPA 6030 Institutional Theory: Sociological Perspectives on Institutional Change in Education (3)

EDPS 5005 Sociology of Teaching and Leadership in Education (3)

ITSF 5023 Family as Educator (3)

ITSF 5026 Family and Television (3)

ITSF 5120 Education in Community Settings (3)

HUDK 4031 Sociology of Evaluation (3)

D. Education and Social Change (minimum 3 points)

EDPS 4000 Education and Public Policy (3)

EDPS 4028 Sociology of the Life Course (3)

EDPS 5050 Sociology of Knowledge (3)

HUDK 4011 Sociology of Online Learning (3)

HUDK 5621 Technology and Society (3)

II. Research Methods (9 points)

A. Quantitative Research Methods (3 points)

EDPA 4002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making I (3), or

HUDM 4122 Probability and Statistical Inference (3)

B. Qualitative Research Methods (3 points)

EDPS 5057 Qualitative Methods for Education Policy and Social Analysis (3), or

ITSF 5000 Methods of Inquiry:  Ethnography and Participant Observation (3), or

C&T 5502 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Curriculum and Teaching (3)

C. Advanced Research Methods (3 points)

EDPA 5002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making II (3)

HUDM 5122 Applied Regression Analysis (3)

EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)

EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (3)

ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I (3)

HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation (3)

T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work) (3)

EDPS 5020 Survey Research Methods (3) 

III. Electives/Concentration (6-9 points)

IV. Culminating Integrative Experience (0-3 points)

Master’s comprehensive examination (0), or

Master’s integrative project and EDPS 6021 Master’s Integrative Project in Sociology and Education (1 point in the fall and 2 points in the spring, for a total of 3 points)

Additional requirements for the M.A. program with the policy concentration: 

Choose one course from each of the following four categories: 

I. Foundational Studies in Education Policy

EDPS 4000   Education and Public Policy

II. Policy Analysis

EDPA 5645 Craft of Policy Analysis

EDPA 4047 Politics and Public Policy

EDPA 4048 Policy Analysis & Implementation

III. Program Evaluation

EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs

ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I

HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation

T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work)

IV. Topics in Education and Social Policy

EDPA 4013 Education Policy and the Management of Instruction

EDPA 4017 Topics in Higher Education Law

EDPA 4025 Higher Education Policy

EDPA 4033 Comprehensive Educational Opportunity

EDPA 4046 School Finance Policy and Practice

EDPA 4086 Law and Education:  Regulation, Religion, Free Speech and Safety

EDPA 4899 Federal Policy Institute

EDPA 5016 Educational Equality:  The Rule of Law

EDPA 5023 Policymaking for Effective High School to College Transition

EDPA 5086 Educational Policymaking and the Courts

EDPA 5880 School Law Institute

EDPA 6013 Early Childhood Development and Education

EDPA 6027 International Perspectives on Early Childhood Policy

EDPE 4057 Economics of Urban and Minority Education

EDPE 4058 Economics of Higher Education

EDPE 4155 Evaluating Educational Privatization and School Choice

EDPP 5041 Politics of Centralization and Decentralization

EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy

C&T 4615 Young Children, Families and Social Policy

C&T 5050 Education Policy:  Prologue to the Future

C&T 5074 Curriculum and Teaching Policy

HBSS 4112 Social Policy and Prevention

ITSF 4060 Latinos in Urban Schools

ITSF 4098 Education Development Policies in China

ITSF 4160 Human Rights Education in Africa:  Politics, Policies and Pedagogies

ITSF 5006 International Education Policy Studies

ITSF 5035 Social Analysis of International Large-Scale Assessments

 


Master of Education (Ed.M., 60 points)

Program Requirements

Ed.M. Degree in the Program in Sociology and Education – minimum of 60 points

Requirements for the Ed.M. program without the education policy option: 

I.  Core Courses (Minimum of 14 points) 

A. Foundational Coursework in Social Analysis of Education

EDPS 4021 Sociology of Education (3) (Required)

EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)

EDPS 4620 Introductory Colloquium in Sociology and Education (2 or 3) (Required)

EDPS 5620 Advanced Colloquium in Sociology and Education (3)

B. Education and Social Inequality (minimum 3 points)

EDPS 4022 Sociology of Urban Education (3)

EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy (3)

EDPS 4024 Social Stratification and Education (3)

EDPS 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)

C&T 4032 Gender, Difference and Curriculum (3)

C. Education and Social Organization (minimum 3 points)

EDPS 4029 Sociology of Schools (3)

EDPS 4030 Sociology of Organizations (3)

EDPS 5022 Sociology of Education Systems (3)

EDPA 6030 Institutional Theory: Sociological Perspectives on Institutional Change in Education (3)

EDPS 5005 Sociology of Teaching and Leadership in Education (3)

ITSF 5023 Family as Educator (3)

ITSF 5026 Family and Television (3)

ITSF 5120 Education in Community Settings (3)

HUDK 4031 Sociology of Evaluation (3)

D. Education and Social Change (minimum 3 points)

EDPS 4000 Education and Public Policy (3)

EDPS 4028 Sociology of the Life Course (3)

EDPS 5050 Sociology of Knowledge (3)

HUDK 4011 Sociology of Online Learning (3)

HUDK 5621 Technology and Society (3)

II. Research Methods (12 points)

A. Quantitative Research Methods (6 points)

EDPA 4002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making I (3), or

HUDM 4122 Probability and Statistical Inference (3), and

EDPA 5002 Data Analysis for Policy & Decision Making II (3), or

HUDM 5122 Applied Regression Analysis (3)

B. Qualitative Research Methods (3 points)

EDPS 5057 Qualitative Methods for Education Policy and Social Analysis (3), or

ITSF 5000 Methods of Inquiry:  Ethnography and Participant Observation (3), or

C&T 5502 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Curriculum and Teaching (3)

C. Advanced Research Methods (3 points)

EDPA 4050 Logic & Design of Research in Educational Policy & Social Analysis (3)

EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (3)

ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I (3)

HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation (3)

T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work) (3)

EDPS 5020 Survey Research Methods (3) 

III. Electives/Concentration (28-31 points)

IV. Culminating Integrative Experience (0-3 points)

Master’s comprehensive examination (0), or

Master’s integrative project and EDPS 6021 Master’s Integrative Project in Sociology and Education (1 point in the fall and 2 points in the spring, for a total of 3 points)

Additional requirements for the Ed.M. program with the policy concentration: 

Choose one course from each of the following four categories: 

I. Foundational Studies in Education Policy

EDPS 4000   Education and Public Policy

II. Policy Analysis

EDPA 5645 Craft of Policy Analysis

EDPA 4047 Politics and Public Policy

EDPA 4048 Policy Analysis & Implementation,

III. Program Evaluation

EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs

ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I

HBSS 6100 Program Evaluation

T6416 Program Evaluation in Social Services (at Columbia School of Social Work)

IV. Topics in Education and Social Policy

EDPA 4013 Education Policy and the Management of Instruction

EDPA 4017 Topics in Higher Education Law

EDPA 4025 Higher Education Policy

EDPA 4033 Comprehensive Educational Opportunity

EDPA 4046 School Finance Policy and Practice

EDPA 4086 Law and Education:  Regulation, Religion, Free Speech and Safety

EDPA 4899 Federal Policy Institute

EDPA 5016 Educational Equality:  The Rule of Law

EDPA 5023 Policymaking for Effective High School to College Transition

EDPA 5086 Educational Policymaking and the Courts

EDPA 5880 School Law Institute

EDPA 6013 Early Childhood Development and Education

EDPA 6027 International Perspectives on Early Childhood Policy

EDPE 4057 Economics of Urban and Minority Education

EDPE 4058 Economics of Higher Education

EDPE 4155 Evaluating Educational Privatization and School Choice

EDPP 5041 Politics of Centralization and Decentralization

EDPP 5045 Race, Ethnicity and US Educational Policy

C&T 4615 Young Children, Families and Social Policy

C&T 5050 Education Policy:  Prologue to the Future

C&T 5074 Curriculum and Teaching Policy

HBSS 4112 Social Policy and Prevention

ITSF 4060 Latinos in Urban Schools

ITSF 4098 Education Development Policies in China

ITSF 4160 Human Rights Education in Africa:  Politics, Policies and Pedagogies

ITSF 5006 International Education Policy Studies

ITSF 5035 Social Analysis of International Large-Scale Assessments


Doctor of Education (Ed.D., 90 points)

The coursework for the Ed.D., which totals a minimum of 90 points, has seven components: basic social research design and methods, advanced social research design and methods, social theory, core coursework in the sociology of education, seminars and colloquia, coursework in the social context of teaching and learning, and elective courses. All of the required coursework is offered at Teachers College.

Basic social research design and methods (12 points) involves coursework in research design, probability and statistics, applied regression analysis, and qualitative research methods. Courses in advanced social research design and methods (minimum 6 points) build on these basic courses in the quantitative and/or qualitative domains. Social theory courses (3 points) draw from sociology and other social sciences. Ed.D. students also pursue a minimum of 15 points in core classes in the sociology of education and 6 points in seminars and colloquia designed to prepare students for dissertation research.  The balance of the 90-point minimum is earned through elective courses selected in collaboration with the student's advisor.

Policy Studies in Sociology Concentration Option:

  • EDPS 4000 Education and Public Policy (3)
  • EDPS 5645 Craft of Policy Analysis (3)
  • EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (3)
  • Approved content-driven policy course (3)


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D., 75 points)

The coursework for the Ph.D., which totals a minimum of 75 points, has seven components: social theory, basic social research design and methods, advanced social research design and methods, foundational coursework in sociology, core coursework in the sociology of education, seminars and colloquia, and elective courses. The required coursework is offered at Teachers College and in the Sociology Department in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. With advisor permission, students may pursue courses in other professional schools at the University or through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium. (Please refer to the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium section of this bulletin for participating schools.)

Social theory (6 points) includes coursework in classical and contemporary sociological theory. 

Basic social research design and methods (12 points) involves coursework in research design, probability and statistics, applied regression analysis, and qualitative research methods. Courses in advanced social research design and methods (minimum 6 points) build on these basic courses in the quantitative and/or qualitative domains. Students also enroll in at least one 3-point course offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia or a Consortium institution in each of the areas of social stratification/ inequality, social organization, and social change.

Ph.D. students also pursue a minimum of 12 points in core classes in the sociology of education and 6 points in seminars and colloquia designed to prepare students for dissertation research. The balance of the 75-point minimum is earned through elective courses selected in collaboration with the student’s advisor.


Application Information

The GRE General Test is required for all doctoral applicants, and doctoral applications are reviewed for fall term only.

Faculty List

Faculty

Lecturers

Visiting Faculty

Adjunct

Full-Time Instructors

Instructors

Part Time Instructor: Sociology & Education Program
Part Time Instructor: Sociology & Education Program
Part Time Instructor: Sociology & Education Program
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education
Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education
Associate Professor of Sociology & Education Policy
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education
Professor of Sociology and Education

For up to date information about course offerings including faculty information, please visit the online course schedule.

Course List

EDPP 5045 Race, ethnicity, and U.S. educational policy

Examination of the impact of race and ethnicity on the formation and implementation of policies such as desegregation, affirmative action, bilingual education, and choice.

EDPS 4000 Education and public policy

Examination of the federal role in K-12 education policy over the course of the 20th century and its impact on states and districts.

EDPS 4021 Sociology of education
A broad analysis of education using basic sociological concepts, including schools as organizations, socialization, stratification, and ethnic relations.
EDPS 4022 Sociology of urban education
Analysis of urban schools and districts within the context of urban social and political systems.
EDPS 4024 Social stratification and education

An examination of the link between education and social inequality in Western societies, questioning whether schools are a mechanism of social mobility, enabling poor and disadvantaged children to get ahead in life, or whether schools perpetuate the hardships faced by poor and minority populations. Topics include the importance of quantity and quality of schooling for adult success; the ways in which race/ethnicity, sex, and social class background structure students educational experiences; the role of tracking and ability grouping within schools; and the link between schooling and the economy.

EDPS 4027 Sociology of classrooms
An examination of sociological research on the structure and operation of classrooms. Particular attention to the processes of stratification, socialization, legitimation, and social organization.
EDPS 4028 Sociology of The Life Course

Sociologists define the life course of individuals by when, and in what order, people assume key social roles, such as becoming an adult or moving from the workforce to retirement. This course looks at the sociology of the life course. Focusing on how historical and societal factors combine with the personal characteristics of individuals to produce unique life course patterns.

EDPS 4029 Sociology of schools
An examination of sociological research on the structure and operation of schools. Particular attention to the processes of socialization, stratification, and legitimation as well as social organization and the sociology of school curriculum.
EDPS 4030 Sociology of Organizations

Introduction to concepts, theories, and research in the sociology of organizations and the related interdisciplinary field of organization studies, as they apply to schools and other organizational settings in education. Topics covered will include internal organizational dynamics, organizations and their environments, organizations as contexts for human identity and agency, and organizational learning and improvement.

EDPS 4032 Gender, difference and curriculum
A study of the extent and causes of gender inequality in society and the ways in which schools work both to reduce and exacerbate inequality.
EDPS 4620 Introductory colloquium in sociology of education
Permission required. Intensive readings and discussions of basic literature in sociology of education, with attention to common issues and research strategies.
EDPS 4903 Research and independent study
Permission required.
EDPS 5005 Sociology of Teaching and Leadership in Education

This course covers four broad topics of interest to sociologists of education, as well as to other education practitioners, researchers, and policy makers:  (1) how the occupations of teaching and leadership are socially organized within schools and school systems; (2) how the work of teaching and leadership in schools and school systems is affected by, and in turn affects, social forces in the larger social environment; (3) the social dynamics of diversity in teaching and leadership; and (4) the impact of teachers and leaders on school outcomes.  The course will explore how the knowledge base about the sociology of teaching and leadership has evolved – how the research questions have changed over time, what the body of theory and empirical evidence looks like, including the methods used to study teaching and leadership, and what the cutting-edge knowledge frontiers are. 

EDPS 5020 Survey Research Methods

Relationship between research problem and study design, choice of population, sampling methods, instrument construction, interviewing, data processing, and analysis.

EDPS 5022 Sociology of education systems

Analysis of local and national education systems through application of sociological perspectives and organization theory, with special attention to problems of equity, effectiveness, and the embeddedness of education systems in their larger contexts.

EDPS 5050 Sociology of knowledge

The sociology of knowledge analyzes the process by which "reality" becomes constructed within a social context.  With a focus on education and social welfare policies, this class will explore the "reality" of public policies with real material consequences and how this reality has been constructed around a set of assumptions defining the "problems" that need to be solved.  This course helps students step back from a focus on "implementing" educational reform and examine instead how such a reform movement became the focus.

EDPS 5057 Qualitative Methods for Education Policy and Social Research

This course is designed to assist students in conceptualizing and designing research projects – for Master’s Theses or Doctoral Dissertations – that examine, interrogate and evaluate public policies in the fields of education and social welfare through methodological approaches we commonly think of as qualitative. The curriculum emphasizes the benefits and limitations of qualitative methods for studying particular policy issues and programs with the goal of defining when a qualitative approach is most helpful. We will explore qualitative case studies as a research design as well as several different data collection methods employed by qualitative researchers, including interviews, observations, ethnography, and document analysis. The class also addresses what sort of research questions can best be answered through qualitative data collection, and how qualitative researchers can frame their inquiry in a manner that speaks to public policy debates and issues. Furthermore, the course will require students to appreciate the significance and meaning of a more contextual approach to education policy analysis. This course, therefore, fulfills the qualitative research methods requirement for the Sociology and Education Program and other programs across the EPSA Department and College. 

EDPS 5620 Advanced colloquium in sociology of education
This course is designed to enhance student knowledge of social theory in sociological research. Particular attention is devoted to deductive models of explanation and their use in the construction of theory and its application as a basis for empirical inquiry.
EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs

An introduction to the evaluation of social and educational programs. Topics include evaluation to inform program conceptualization and design; measuring program implementation; impact assessment, including randomized experiments; cost-effectiveness analysis; and the social and political context of program evaluation.

EDPS 6021 Master's Integrative Project in Sociology and Education

Students wishing to complete a master's integrative project instead of taking the master's exam will design a study, provide a relevant literature review of theory and research, collect and analyze data, and write a comprehensive report of their work.

EDPS 6525 Seminar in sociology of education
A seminar for doctoral students to further their professional development and to prepare for doctoral research.
EDPS 6903 Research and independent study
Permission required.
EDPS 7503 Dissertation seminar
Permission required. Required of doctoral students in the semester following successful completion of certification examinations.
EDPS 8903 Dissertation advisement
Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.